Photojournal Article: Sugamo – A Friendly Community for Japan’s Elderly (Shabka)

Despite being the world’s current 11th most populous country in the world, Japan has been experiencing a population decline. In 2015, Japanese citizens who are aged 65 years and above comprise 26.7% of the population (which means that one in every four people in Japan is elderly), and this figure is expected to still increase to 33.3% by 2036, and 38.4% by 2065. With a ballooning aging community, Japan corresponds to the needs of the changing demographics of their citizenry. Sugamo Jizou-Dori is an example of this.

Sugamo is an area in Tokyo, particularly located along the Old Nakasendo Road, that is known to be the “hangout” of Japanese elderly people. It is an area that is approximately 780 meters in length with almost 170 stores and shops lining up the whole stretch of the street. It is a five-minute walk from the nearest station, the Sugamo Station on the JR Yamanote line. As it is a shopping district catering to the elderly, it is frequently paralleled with the youngsters’ shopping area (called Harajuku), thereby gaining its moniker, the “Old Ladies’ Harajuku”.

The full article can be accessed at


Published originally on 12 April 2018 at Shabka

Shabka is Austria’s youngest think-and-do tank at the nexus of conflict and peace analysis as well as foreign, development, and security policy. It is set up as a civil society network, and a hub for passionate talents.

Photo by Pia Lorenzo

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